SCO’s First International Conference on Traditional Medicine

Mar 02: Union Minister of Ayush and Ports, Shipping & Waterways, Sarbananda Sonowal inaugurated the first B2B Global Conference & Expo on Traditional Medicine under Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) at Guwahati today. More than 150 delegates from 17 SCO (4 virtually) countries and partners attended the inaugural ceremony. The four days Expo on Traditional Medicine was also inaugurated by Shri Sonowal here today on the same premises.

In his inaugural address, the Union Minister said, “India has made the best use of available natural resources through Ayurveda and other traditional systems of medicine to provide healthcare to people as well as towards achieving the goal of Universal Health Coverage. The Global Center for Traditional Medicine of the World Health Organisation (WHO-GCTM) being set up at Jamnagar with the support of India will help member countries in taking enabling steps in their respective countries to strengthen education and practices of Traditional Medicine.”

The inaugural ceremony was attended by the Union Minister of State for Ayush and Women & Child Development, Dr Mahendrabhai Munjpara; His Excellency Union Minister of Health, Govt of Myanmar, Dr Thet Khaing Win; His Excellency Deputy Minister of Health, Govt of Maldives, Safiyya Mohamed Saeed and Secretary, Ministry of Ayush, Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha among others.

In his address, Union Minister of State for Ayush and Women & Child Development, Dr Mahendrabhai Munjpara said, “India lays a lot of emphasis on quality assurance of education and practices of Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, Sowa-rigpa and the Homeopathy (Ayush). Many regulatory provisions, as well as accreditation mechanisms, are in place to ensure the quality of Ayush products. India has also taken lead in developing the country’s “integrative Medicine Policy” to integrate Traditional systems of medicine and western medicine while ensuring their training, research and safety.”

Health Minister of Myanmar Dr Thet Khaing Win said, “In Myanmar traditional medicines have been regarded as an invaluable national heritage, it has a significant role in our culture. With the increasing demand for Traditional Medicines, we are supporting the development of Traditional Medicines in every aspect.”

Deputy Health Minister of Maldives Safiya Mohamed Saeed talked about how Traditional Medicines used to be the main source of income for millions, especially for the rural areas in developing countries. She emphasized the need for best practices as currently, we lack a legal framework and guidelines to assist the industry.

More than 150 delegates from 17 countries including India are participating in this event, which includes high-level delegates such as Health ministers, official delegates, and foreign buyers from SCO & partner countries. A total of 75 foreign officials and business delegates from 13 countries are participating in physical mode. Official delegates from China, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan joined virtually.

The two days conference will witness detailed presentations and deliberations from SCO and partner countries on the regulatory framework for Traditional Medicine products and practices including Pharmacopoeia, Quality assurance and Research, Herbal extracts, Nutraceuticals, etc from manufacturers and suppliers and Government interventions to promote Traditional Medicine in them. Important sessions like ‘Know your buyer’ and ‘B2B meetings’ for discussing specific product-wise, export & import opportunities and deeper economic partnerships with increased market access across SCO countries are also planned.

The four days Expo on Traditional Medicine was also inaugurated. Ayush industry as well as foreign Traditional Medicine industries/exporters/importers are also showcasing their products and services at the Expo. This expo is aimed at opening up trade opportunities in traditional medicine. The Ministry of Ayush institutes/councils have put up stalls in the pavilion to showcase their achievements.

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